Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's Take It To The Streets


I asked the question yesterday of where are the young people? Why aren't they in the streets or organizing through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter the way the young people of Egypt ,Libya and other nations in the Arab World are suddenly doing?

I can't know the answer to that...but as I write this...Thousands of public employees and union activists have staged a street style protest in Madison, Wisconsin....I mention Egypt, because those demonstrations reminded me of my early childhood in the 60's when Blacks, Women, Gay people, Latinos, Young people seemed to be out in the streets protesting something everyday...

Large and tense demonstrations like those in the sixties and early seventies have become increasingly rare in America, "The Wisconsin protests could provide an Egypt-like moment, says Norman Ornstein, a fellow at the nonpartisan American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

"If there's a big tea party demonstration in Madison, we may see a direct clash, just as we had in the streets of Cairo," says Ornstein.

One protester's sign at the capitol said, "Impeach Scott Mubarak" –( I thought that was pretty darn clever) a direct reference to protests that led Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign last week.

As it gains momentum, the union protest movement is likely to draw in young social-justice activists,Barack Obama supporters, and even religious groups who fight for the dispossessed just like the sixties.

Already ,I've seen something in Wisconsin that I've never seen before...The outnumbered Wisconsin Democrats have resorted to extreme measures to hold up the vote inn the state house. Fourteen Democratic state senators decamped from Madison Thursday, making the statehouse one lawmaker short of a quorum. On Friday, Walker asked two state troopers to collect missing Democratic leader Mark Miller from his home in order to force a vote.

Rising tensions in Madison and could presage the kind of labor unrest that hasn’t been seen in the US since the Great Depression. If you're going to take away bargaining rights, you're not leaving the workers with much if anything. You're leaving them with what they had in the '20s and '30s, you're leaving them with no choice but to take it to the streets.

I for one am all for it....It's time to send the G.O.P. and their bastard children, the Tea Party...a message...

2 comments:

Rich Fitzgerald said...

Why aren't they in the streets or organizing through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter the way the young people of Egypt ,Libya and other nations in the Arab World are suddenly doing?

They have too many creature comforts like smartphones, social networking, gaming stations, premium channel cable/satellite connections and the like. Start taking some of those things away and they might feel threatened. Other then that, life is good for young folk.

Arlene said...

Keith, you tell it like it is! Let's take to the streets! I was of that opinion when "W" stole the election in 2000. We, organized labor, should have pressed the point then and perhaps we would not be dealing with the under-handed tactics of republicans now.

As for the young, I read an article that said young people are not affected by poverty the way older citizens have been. After all, even the poor have cable tv, cell phones, and indoor plumbing. We have Dollar stores now where really cheap food can be purchased. And the stigma of jail no longer shames us (eventhough a record keeps a lot of people from achieving their goals.)

The old adage, youth is wasted on the young, is so true!!




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